Sounds like you’re getting in on the ground floor and will be a very early employee number. A couple of questions to ask yourself:
- What’s the company’s funding look like? Self-sustaining? On their Series A it sounds like, do they have Series B lined up, or at least thinking about it?
- What’s the company’s exit strategy? What does the space look like? Who are the competitors big and small? Can the big guys pivot and take over the space you guys are carving out?
- What are you missing out potentially by taking this offer vs [presumably] a bigger company? Not just compensation, but in terms of career path as well.
- If things don’t pan out, and the company folds before it can get Series B (let’s say), can you easily find another gig in your space and locale?
If you’ve never worked for a small startup before, that might be an incentive to give it a shot. No regrets and all that.
And then, a trick someone gave me when I was in a similar situation. I had to decide between two positions over a weekend: Take one day and decide you’re going for Position A. Trick your mind into ‘making the decision’. Then on the next day, force your mind to decide you’re taking Position B. Really commit your mind to ‘deciding’.
It sounds a little weird, and not everyone can do it. But it was worked great for me. As Position A was on paper the better option. But once I “made the decision” I was riddled with anxiety about the people I would be working with, the technical baggage/debt I would have to deal with. Whereas with Position B I became happy and optimistic for the future. I went with B and it’s been great.